Health Care

Here’s Why You Need To Wear A Damn Mask & Keep Your Distance To Be A Good Neighbor

Could nearly half of those with Covid-19 have no idea they are infected? By David Cox The Guardian (5/30/20) When Noopur Raje’s husband fell critically ill with Covid-19 in mid-March, she did not suspect that she too was infected with the virus. Raje, an oncologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, had been caring for her sick husband for a week before driving him to an emergency centre with a persistently high fever. But after she herself had a diagnostic PCR test – which looks for traces of the Sars-CoV-2 virus DNA in saliva – she was astounded to find…

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Dear, Jesus! Groveling To Evangelicals, CDC Drops Warning About COVID-19 Risks In Choirs

The federal health agency backs off its guideline even though a single choir practice in Washington state infected 52 people and led to 2 deaths. By Mary Papenfuss HuffPost (5/29/20) The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday suddenly dropped its warning about the risk of choirs spreading COVID-19 at religious services after being told to do so by White House officials, The Washington Post reported. The warning was omitted even though choirs can become “super-spreader” events infecting large groups of people at once. Singing can increase the intensity of “aerosol emission” of the coronavirus. Nearly all 61…


How Will COVID-19 Change The World? Medical Historian Frank Snowden On Epidemics From The Black Death To Now

Democracy Now! (5/18/20) Pandemics, like revolution, war and economic crises, are key determinants of historic change. We look at the history of epidemics, from Black Death to smallpox to COVID-19, and discuss how the coronavirus will reshape the world with leading medical historian Frank Snowden, author of “Epidemics and Society: From the Black Death to the Present.” He is a professor emeritus at Yale University who has been in Italy since the pandemic began, and himself survived a COVID-19 infection. Link To Story, Transcript And 38-Minute Video  


“Criminal” — Bipartisan Failure Leads To Relaxing Of Federal Guidelines Leading To Rising Number Of Infected & Dead Health Care Workers

“…the biggest safety and health failure that has ever occurred in this country. The toll on working people is already enormous.” By  Jennifer Gollan & Elizabeth Shogren Reveal / Center For Investigative Reporting (5/11/20) ick Lucas’ cellphone chimed, alerting him to an emergency in the acute care unit. He wondered whether it would be another case of COVID-19. He pulled on his thin surgical mask and dashed into a room where a patient was fighting to breathe. Lucas, a critical care nurse, and his team at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus worked quickly, finding a vein for an IV…


See The Chilling Virus Warnings Trump Ignored – Before Pandemic Outbreak | The Beat With Ari Melber

The Beat / MSNBC (5/27/20) The coronavirus has upended most of the world, but there were key warnings about pandemics in general, and the virus specifically, that were often ignored, downplayed or even punished. MSNBC’s Ari Melber documents this crucial history – and what can be learned from it now – in this exhaustive special report spanning years of expert research, warnings and even the fateful final months as the virus approached the U.S. early 2020. Melber also discusses a “Cassandra effect,” where some experts who got it right were sidelined and faced alleged retaliation by the Trump Administration. Link…


Onward Christian Liars: ‘Jane Roe’s’ Deathbed Confession Exposes The Corrupt Big Money Immorality Of The Christian Right

Sadly, it seems as though many anti-choice extremists don’t have much of a soul to lose in the first place. By Arwa Mahdawi The Guardian (5/21/20) What would you do for almost half a million dollars? Would you very publicly denounce your past life and pretend to be an anti-abortion, born-again, ex-gay Christian? Thanks to her newly public deathbed confession, we now know that’s what Norma McCorvey, best known for being the plaintiff known as Jane Roe in the 1973 landmark supreme court case abortion rights case Roe v Wade, did. In 1969, a 22-year-old McCorvey was pregnant and scared. She’d had…


Hong Kong Research Shows Wearing A Face Mask Can Reduce Coronavirus Transmission Up To 75%

  Fox News 6 Now (5/20/20) HONG KONG– Researchers have found that wearing surgical masks can significantly reduce the rate of airborne COVID-19 transmission, according to a study released on Sunday. The study, conducted by a team of scientists in Hong Kong, found the rate of non-contact transmission through respiratory droplets or airborne particles dropped by as much as 75 percent when masks were used. “The findings implied to the world and the public is that the effectiveness of mask-wearing against the coronavirus pandemic is huge,” said Dr. Yuen Kwok-yung, a leading microbiologist from Hong Kong University who helped discover…


Time To Indict & Punish The Perpetrators Of Systemic Racial Covid Mass Death

  By Glen Ford Black Agenda Report (5/21/20) Not just Trump, but the whole US ruling class must pay for the mass Covid death toll among Blacks, because only the ruling class has the power to systematically allocate life-death chances for whole populations over generations. “To limit the indictment to Donald Trump and his administration would be an insult to today’s dead and dying.” The United States finds myriad ways of killing Black people – of negating the term “Black lives matter.” The novel, or new, coronavirus is ending the lives of African Americans at a nationwide rate that is 2.6 times…


Why Don’t Americans Trust Experts Anymore?

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” ― Issac Asimov Amanpour & Company (5/15/20) A tussle between science and politics is defining the pandemic response of the Trump administration. How did this increasing rejection of expertise get started? Professor Tom Nichols wrote a prescient book on the subject in 2017, and joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss. Link…


Can You Stay Safe With States Reopening? An Expert Explains How To Assess Risk When Reconnecting With Friends & Family

Michigan’s outbreak looks different from Iowa’s, which looks different from Colorado’s. Even within states, outbreaks are very distinct.  By Ryan Malosh The Conversation (5/18/20) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has finally released new guidelines for businesses, bars and schools that are considering reopening. Although following these guidelines should help, it’s frustrating there hasn’t been more clear, concise communication about the risk of infection. And without strict guidelines, it will be up to us to minimize our own risk and the risk of everyone around us. In large part, this is because there is still so much we scientists and physicians don’t know about…


Some Hopeful News Regarding Covid-19: Reinfection May Not Happen

“Brilliant news. … Remarkably good news.” Dr. John Campbell has a very informative, straight forward daily podcast review and update of the developing science on Covid-19. In this episode he reviews research coming out of South Korea indicating people cannot be reinfected with Covid-19, which is positive news regarding efficacy of possible vaccination and eventual herd immunity. Link To 23+-Minute Video You Can Access Dr. John Campbell’s Science-Based Library Of Podcasts On A Variety Of  Covid-19 Related Topics Here.  


What The 1918 Flu Pandemic Can Teach Us About The Coronavirus Outbreak — If Only We Are Willing To Learn

  By Wes Martin & Meghna Chakrabarti On Point / WBUR (5/15/20) It’s been more than 100 years since all of humanity has had to respond to a global pandemic on the scale of coronavirus. We’ll take a deep look at the origins, responses and lessons of the flu pandemic of 1918. Guests: John Barry, professor at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. Author of “The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History.” (@johnmbarry) Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR) Link To Story, Transcript And 57-Minute Audio (Commoner Call photo by Mark L. Taylor,…


The Covid-19 Patients Who Have Symptoms For Months: ‘Weird as hell’

“I’ve studied 100 diseases. Covid is the strangest one I have seen in my medical career.” By Luke Harding The Guardian (5/15/20) In mid-March Paul Garner developed what he thought was a “bit of a cough”. A professor of infectious diseases, Garner was discussing the new coronavirus with David Nabarro, the UK’s special envoy on the pandemic. At the end of the Zoom call, Nabarro advised Garner to go home immediately and to self-isolate. Garner did. He felt no more than a “little bit off”. Days later, he found himself fighting a raging infection. It’s one he likens to being…


Dying To Head To The Bar With Your Buddies For A Beer? Here’s How Rapidly Covid-19 Can Spread To Everyone (Including You) In A Restaurant

  “What the video demonstrated, is that it will spread to surfaces and to people very efficiently.” [Editor’s Note: Remember, whatever you pick up at a bar or restaurant you carry home to your family and friends. — Mark L. Taylor] By Luke O’Neil The Guardian (5/15/20) Even as Covid 19 deaths in the US continue to grow, now surpassing 85,000, many states have begun loosening lockdown restrictions. Regardless of the wisdom of such moves, it’s clear that there’s a desire to return to something resembling normalcy across the country, as in Wisconsin, where locals returned to packed bars this week. How…


Combining Different Models, New Coronavirus Projection Shows At Least 110,000 Deaths By June 6

About 7,000 people are projected to die in the first week of June. By Nurith Aizenman & Sean McMinn NPR (5/13/20) More than 82,000 people in the U.S. have died of COVID-19 as of Tuesday. How many more lives will be lost? Scientists have built dozens of computational models to answer that question. But the profusion of forecasts poses a challenge: The models use such a wide range of methodologies, formats, and time frames, it’s hard to get even a ballpark sense of what the future has in store. Enter Nicholas Reich, a biostatistician at University of Massachusetts Amherst. Reich and his colleagues have…


‘The Next Crisis’: Due To GOP & Dem Inaction Up To 43 Million More Americans Could Lose Health Insurance Due To Pandemic, Study Shows

Last month, the Economic Policy Institute estimated that 12.7 million people had already lost their employer-based health insurance. By Julia Conley Common Dreams (5/10/20) Medicare for All advocates on Sunday pointed to the latest study on the looming health insurance crisis already becoming apparent amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to job losses for more than 33 million people in the past two months. Because health insurance is tied to employment for about half the country—160 million people—as many as 43 million are expected to lose their health insurance due to the pandemic, according to a new report by the Robert Wood Johnson…


Be Prepared For Building Second Wave Of Deadly Pandemic With A Home Pulse Oximeter: Early Detection Of Oxygen Deprivation Earlier From COVID-19, Can Help Avoid Need For Ventilator Treatment

Patients came in with alarmingly low oxygen saturations, but they did not, subjectively, actually feel short of breath. [Editor’s Note: With the willfully ignorant leadership in the nation and most states, the ‘reopening’ of the economy is going to lead to (just as in 198) a tremendous second wave of Covid-19 infections, illnesses and hundreds of thousands of deaths. If you can still find them, get a thermometer and oximeter and appropriate over-the-counter medications for fever, aches, nausea and diarrhea. I am not qualified to give medical advice, so go online and do your research NOW. Make sure your medical…


As States Loosen Pandemic Restrictions, Dr. Leana Wen Warns “We Are Not Ready For A Safe Reopening”

“Why shouldn’t this testing be available to all Americans?” Democracy Now! (5/8/20) As more than 40 states begin to reopen, President Trump is downplaying the need for mass COVID-19 testing, even as he himself is now being tested every day for the virus. We speak with emergency physician Dr. Leana Wen, who says, “Widespread testing is so critical. … Why shouldn’t this testing be available to all Americans?” Link To story, Transcript And 14-Minute Video  


Body Bags Instead Of Requested Covid-19 Testing Kits For Native American Clinic Seen As Cruel Metaphor

“Quit telling us to wait.” By Eoin Higgins Common Dreams (5/6/20) A Seattle-area Native American health center in April received body bags instead of requested equipment to handle the coronavirus in what tribal officials described as a “metaphor” for how the Indigenous population is being treated by local, state, and federal governments around the country as the pandemic continues to rage. “My question is: Are we going to keep getting body bags or are we going to get what we actually need?” Seattle Indian Health Board chief research officer Abigail Echo-Hawk told NBC News. “Native vulnerability to coronavirus did not occur out of…


Getting Mentally Grounded For More Covid-19 Uncertainty: ‘Focus on right now’

  “You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end … with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality.” — US Navy Vice Admiral James Stockdale By Adrienne Matei The Guardian (5/2/20) Time is humanity’s ultimate organizing principle, and many, myself included, have longed for a neat finale during this pandemic – a day we can patiently wait for, when this will all be over. At first, political authorities in many countries spoke of societal lockdown in terms of weeks – a challenge, yes, but a manageable one; there are even those who treated…


Father Of Late ER Doctor Who Died By Suicide Says She ‘just ran out of steam’

“She was like the fireman who runs into the burning building to save another life and doesn’t regard anything about herself. So she has paid the price. She has been in the trenches.” CNN (4/28/20) The father of Dr. Lorna Breen, a New York City emergency room doctor who recovered from Covid-19, continued to treat coronavirus patients, then died by suicide, remembers his daughter as someone who put her life on the line to help others. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). Link To 9-Minute Video (Commoner Call photo, 2020. Open source and free for non-derivative use with…


To Stop Even Worse Pandemics, We Must Stop Destruction Of Nature

“The health of people is intimately connected to the health of wildlife, the health of livestock and the health of the environment. It’s actually one health.” By Damian Carrington The Guardian (4/27/20) The coronavirus pandemic is likely to be followed by even more deadly and destructive disease outbreaks unless their root cause – the rampant destruction of the natural world – is rapidly halted, the world’s leading biodiversity experts have warned. “There is a single species responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic – us,” they said. “Recent pandemics are a direct consequence of human activity, particularly our global financial and economic systems…


Lockdown Protests Echo The Anti-Mask League During 1918 Pandemic

  “The protests back in 1918 and 1919 were organized. That sort of distrust of experts, distrust of the government’s point of view was very strong.” By Peter Lawrence Kane The Guardian (4/29/20) San Francisco seems to have done a good job of flattening the coronavirus curve. Initially perceived as an overreaction, the shelter-in-place order issued on 16 March now seems prudent in light of the sustained public health crisis that New York has endured. San Francisco has seen roughly 1,450 confirmed coronavirus cases and 23 deaths but the city wasn’t always so good at heeding the advice of experts. A century ago,…


Brutal New Ad Thumps Trump For Making ‘America first’ — In COVID-19 Deaths

  By Brad Reed Raw Story (4/28/20) A brutal new advertisement from pro-Democrat super PAC Priorities USA takes President Donald Trump’s slogan of “America first” and throws it right back in his face. “Donald Trump said he would put America first, and now he has,” the ad begins. “The United States leads the world in coronavirus cases. More than 50,000 Americans dead, twice as many deaths as any other country. Over 26 million people have lost their jobs, and it’s only getting worse.” … Read The Rest And 30-Second Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2020. Open source…


Author Gerald Posner: How Republicans & Democrats Have Ensured Big Pharma Profits Off The Misery & Death Of Coronavirus

Rising/The Hill (4/23/20) Author of, ‘PHARMA: Greed, Lies and the Poisoning of America,’ Gerald Posner explains how Pharma lobbies Democrats and Republicans to influence coronavirus relief bills, and profit from the crisis. Link To 10-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2017. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )  


A Madison Nurse Speaks Out: In A Time Of Pandemic, This Is What REAL Patriotism Looks Like

By putting themselves in harm’s way, they are thoughtlessly dragging ME and my fellow front-line workers into harm’s way, too. “Y’all, as a nurse working in a COVID unit, these protests are the most demoralizing thing to happen throughout this whole damn experience. Yes, it’s been gut-wrenching watching patients struggle for breath while unable to see their loved ones. Yes, it’s been scary wondering if our dwindling supply of protective gear will last, and if the flimsy barrier masks are even adequate to protect us. Yes, it’s been hard knowing that, because of my work, I will have to self-isolate…


Humanity Has Been Here Before: How The Rich Reacted To The Bubonic Plague Has Eerie Similarities To Today’s Pandemic

Josse Lieferinxe’s ‘Saint Sebastian Interceding for the Plague Stricken’ (c. 1498). Wikimedia Commons By Kathryn McKinley The Conversation (4/16/20) The coronavirus can infect anyone, but recent reporting has shown your socioeconomic status can play a big role, with a combination of job security, access to health care and mobility widening the gap in infection and mortality rates between rich and poor. The wealthy work remotely and flee to resorts or pastoral second homes, while the urban poor are packed into small apartments and compelled to keep showing up to work. As a medievalist, I’ve seen a version of this story before. Following the 1348 Black Death in…



Nurses On The Front Lines

The Ralph Nader Radio Hour (4/18/20) Jean Ross, president of the largest nurses’ union in the country, National Nurses United, joins Ralph to talk about how healthcare workers are not being protected from Covid-19. And Yale psychiatrist, Dr. Bandy Lee, comes back to update us on the Donald Trump’s mental pathology. Link To 67-Minute Audio ***** Learn More About National Nurses United HERE


Turns Out Biden & Sanders Were Just As Willing As GOP To Endanger The Safety & Lives Of Wisconsin Primary Voters

By Mike Memoli, Gary Grumbach , Andrea Mitchell, Marianna Sotomayor & Shaquille Brewster NBC (4/8/20) WASHINGTON — According to multiple sources involved in the process, Joe Biden’s and Bernie Sanders’ teams have been having ongoing conversations since early March, especially once Biden took a more significant delegate lead after Michigan’s presidential primary. Those conversations began initially over process issues – especially about how the campaigns should handle the Arizona debate, which ultimately moved to Washington over the Coronavirus. But lines of communication were then established and conversations continued at a big picture level over how to unite the party and bring…


Hard Truth From An Epidemiologist: No Matter How You Crunch The Numbers, This Pandemic Is Only Just Getting Started

This crisis is not close to over, quite the reverse. The pandemic is only just getting started. By Dr. William Hanage The Guardian (4/16/20) There has not been a lot of good news lately. But with the discharge of Boris Johnson from hospital on Sunday, and statements that the “peak” strain on the National Health Service would be over the Easter period, you might be under the impression that the storm is passing, and the Covid-19 pandemic will soon be a memory. Fueling this mood are reports from studies of communities already hit by the pandemic. At long last we are beginning to…


Why It Needs To Be Called: Trumpandemic

See The Timeline Of The Murderous Disinformation Trump Spread About The Coronavirus By Tom McCarthy The Guardian (4/14/20) “What a problem. Came out of nowhere.” That’s how Donald Trump described the coronavirus pandemic in early March, during a televised visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For weeks he had been giving Americans the same advice: “We have it totally under control”; “USA in great shape!”; and, of course, “Fake news”. But privately, Trump was being warned of a “full-blown Covid-19 pandemic” and “1-2 million” American deaths, according to internal emails, memorandums and other recently unearthed evidence documenting internal deliberations. It…


When COVID-19 ‘Gets Into’ Rural Hospitals: Inside A Hospital In One Of The Hardest Hit US Counties

By Lauren Weber Kaiser Health (4/8/20) The folding chairs outside the windows appeared late last month, after the maintenance staff at St James parish hospital labeled each window with patient numbers so families and friends could at least see their loved ones battling Covid-19. Yet even this small solace the Louisiana rural hospital can offer is tainted for Leslie Fisher, a clinical nurse educator. She has to remind the family members to take shifts to properly physically distance from each other – even when their loved ones could quite possibly be in their final moments. The difficult conversations feel unceasingly cruel, she…


Wisconsin’s Sick GOP Death Cult

Wisconsin Republicans show they hate both democracy and Wisconsinites. By Emma Roller In These Times (4/7/20) On Monday, after a bill to delay Wisconsin’s primary languished in the state legislature, Democratic Governor Tony Evers signed an executive order to postpone the state’s primary until June, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak that has already sickened at least 2,440 Wisconsin residents and killed 83 people in the state. But mere hours later, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled 4-2 that the election must go on as planned. (Dan Kelly, the conservative Supreme Court judge up for re-election on Tuesday, abstained from the ruling.) Worse, the court ruled…


The Military Knew Years Ago That A Coronavirus Pandemic Was Inevitable & Warned Trump

Current pandemic was long predicted and the warning ignored by Trump administration. By Ken Klippenstein The Nation (4/1/20) Despite President Trump’s repeated assertions that the Covid-19 epidemic was “unforeseen” and “came out of nowhere,” the Pentagon was well aware of not just the threat of a novel influenza, but even anticipated the consequent scarcity of ventilators, face masks, and hospital beds, according to a 2017 Pentagon plan obtained by The Nation. “The most likely and significant threat is a novel respiratory disease, particularly a novel influenza disease,” the military plan states. Covid-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel (meaning new to humans) coronavirus. The…


Democratic Cowards: If You Don’t Support ‘Medicare For All’ By Now, Just Make It Official & Become A Damn Republican

If ever there were a time to admit that no one should die because they can’t afford health care, it is now. If ever there were a time to admit that tying health insurance to employment was a fundamentally flawed idea, it is now. If ever there were a time to admit that Obamacare was a half-measure that is no longer enough, it is now. By Hamilton Nolan In These Times (4/2/20) A counterintuitive thing about crises is that they can make very complex issues become very simple, very fast. Physics, for example, is very complex. But when someone throws…


RUMBLE With MICHAEL MOORE Podcast Episode 62 EMERGENCY PODCAST SYSTEM – He’s Gonna Get Us KllIed

Rumble With Michael Moore (4/4/20) The military was used to steal our taxpayer-funded strategic reserve medical supplies and turn them over to private corporations to sell off to the highest bidder here … and overseas. ***** “FEMA just ordered another 100,000 body bags. They need a million. They might need two million … or more. History is full of people who just stood by and did nothing. Sometimes, because they were paralyzed by fear. Sometimes, because they just didn’t believe they could make a difference. And sometimes, they just didn’t have a clue as to what to do. This is…


A Letter To Rep. Ron Kind: The Growing Severity Of Pandemic Is Grounded In Your Failed Neoliberal Corporate Politics

  Now — like no other in your time in office — is the time to get your priorities straight: Defend the needs of citizens. By Mark L. Taylor Commoner Call (4/2/20) On Wednesday I got an email from the Daily Kos asking me to send off a comment to my representative, Wisconsin Third Congressional District Rep. Ron Kind (D). The following is what I sent in. Unfortunately, the points raised with Rep. Kind apply to the vast majority of congressional ‘representatives’ of both parties. Over the past 40 years they have systematically nailed together the conditions that are ready…


Covid-19 May Be Just The Beginning: As Ice Melts & Mosquitoes Wander Northward, Dangerous Diseases From The Past Could Rise Again

“I have no words to express my feelings.” By Mary Pappenfuss HuffPost (5/5/17) The great thing about climate change is that there’s always some new, horrifying consequence to worry about ― like ancient viruses and bacteria emerging from the ice as the Earth warms. Unfortunately, researchers fear we may see more of this in the future. Some of these viruses and bacteria may have been trapped for millennia, and it’s not even totally clear yet what they are, let alone what kind of damage they might cause. Researchers have encountered complex “giant viruses” with as many as thousands of genes…


Dead Zone: Malcom Gladwell Writes Of The 1918 Flu Pandemic, The Deadliest Virus Ever Known

The Spanish-flu epidemic of 1918 reached virtually every country, killing so many people so quickly that some cities were forced to convert streetcars into hearses. [Editor’s Note: This is one of those time in life where — unlike the occupant of the White House — you really want to know your history. — Mark L. Taylor] The New Yorker (3/19/20) In 1997, author Malcolm Gladwell published “The Dead Zone,” a gripping piece about the catastrophic spread of the so-called Spanish flu, in 1918. In the fall of that year, a devastating strain of influenza emerged, overwhelming entire cities and towns…